Losing a loved one can trigger the release of a lot of mixed emotions. One day it might be all sadness and another day depression, hopelessness, anger and total disbelief could take over. As the partner of someone in grief you will be the closest person they have for comfort but the situation can be a bit unnerving if you don’t know how to provide the support he or she seeks. One day he/she might want to have you close and another he/she might just push you away. Although you know it’s not personal you cannot get over your feelings of helplessness and loss for words.

Knowing how, when and where to be supportive is a huge part of providing support. Even when you feel that there is nothing that you can do the fact that you make it known that you are there will be much appreciated, even if he/she does not say it. If you are an action sort of person and feel that you need to be doing something to show you care about what your partner is going through here are three ways you can help.

Make Your Presence Known

Avoiding any reference to the loss or doing a disappearing act when your partner reacts to the loss is not going to make it better. Being completely absent will only feel like a second loss to him so do not withdraw and pretend that it is not happening. Grieving is a part of the process and you will not be able to move forward if you do not allow it to play out.  Begin by acknowledging the loss and expressing your support and sincere sorrow. Using the right words in this case is very important since underplaying the significance of the event can come across as being insensitive. Avoid words like “I know how you feel” (unless you have lost a loved one) or “its not that bad” and instead use words to convey your sorrow and support like “I am here for you” or “I am so sorry for your loss.”

Exercise Patience

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. We all have our unique ways for reacting to it and so if your partner takes a lot longer than you would to get over a loss then there is no reason to get upset or ask him to snap out of it. Be hopeful and patient and more importantly encourage and offer support as long as it takes for him/her to recover. In the end you will be a stronger and closer couple for it.

Be a Source of Encouragement

The entire process of grieving is rather important to ones health, without it you will not be able to get back to who you were before and you will be stuck a grieving mess. The flip side is that it should not take over your lives. Encourage your partner to get back to his routine after some time. Incorporate fun things and exercising into your routine as a couple. This will provide some benefits to both your emotional and mental health. It may also relieve the dourness, stress and tension that might have invaded the relationship.

On the whole be there for your partner as much or as little as they want. If you have open communication you can even out right ask “Do you want me here at the moment or should I head home?” Having an open and honest relationship will give you the best chance to help your partner during their grieving time.

Want the simple honest truth answer to how to start losing weight in 7 days? Start walking. Right now, literally stop reading this article, get out of your chair, put on your shoes and go for a walk! Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, or whatever you can manage!

Still here? Unfortunately it isn’t possible to lose weight by typing on your computer and reading about magic tricks and potions that will change your life forever! Sure there are aids to helping you transform your life and your body but in the end you will have to do your fair share of hard work as well. You have to set some realistic goals and stick with it. Start small, 1 kilo in 2 weeks even. This should be relatively easy if you follow some of our points!

Here are 6 simple tips to help you start losing weight in 7 days:

  1. Stop with the fast food. Maccas isn’t doing you any favours, even this simple step will make you see a difference in a matter of days. Cook at home, it’s fun, cheaper and even if it’s just a piece of beef and some carrots and zucchini that is so much better than some deep fried lard.
  2. Diet as a whole plays a major part of losing weight, more so than exercise. Start being more conscious of what you are eating and when. Be cautious of snacking!
  3. Get yourself a couple of dumbbells. They don’t have to be ultra heavy, the key is to set small goals and work towards them. Lift a few each day, you will be amazed at what this can do. After 3 days of lifting these weights twice a day you are guaranteed to feel better about yourself and gain more confidence in your new fitness regime and the new you.
  4. Start walking! I was being serious with my opening line. Even if you only start walking around your back yard 10 times at night, it is so much better than nothing! Build up the distances and time you spend walking.
  5. Try some sit ups and pushups! No equipment necessary, only your guns and will! Hit the deck and start off slow, be careful of your back, you want to tone up not put yourself in the hospital!
  6. Keep at it! Although you want to set yourself small goals you also don’t want to lose sight of the big picture. It’s easy to take 2 steps backwards after you see some success so once you lose those kilos make sure you keep them off!

If you follow at least 4 of these points for the next 7 days I can guarantee you will see some results and it will only get better from there! Remember you don’t have to go from zero to hero, it’s a process that can be as fast or as slow as you want it to be as long as you are always setting yourself goals and making sure you follow through.

Love handles can creep up on you whatever build you may have! These evil fat deposits can also hit men and women alike! You may have been like me, you may have been walking through a clothing store when you glimpsed your love handles hanging over the top of your jeans…but don’t worry there are exercises to get rid of love handles, I said goodbye to my love handles (before my episode) and so can you!

When we talk about love handles we are actually talking about the oblique are of the body. In order to tone up this area you will need to do a full body exercise. Start working out at least 30 minutes 4 days a week (brisk walking even works great for weight loss) to get your metabolism going and start burning off some fat. Trying to tone up your oblique’s without working out the rest of your body is almost a waste of time.

Great diet is just as important – The best way to lose weight is to combine exercise with a healthy diet. Sure, you can lose weight by only dieting or only working out, but it’s much more effective when you combine the two. Diet can actually prove more important than exercise when it comes to getting rid of your love handles. Make sure you cut out all of the refined, processed and high carbohydrate foods like junk food and sweets and opt for leaner cuts of meat and low carbohydrate vegetables. Eat foods with higher protein levels also, it takes the body longer to break down so it leaves you feeling fuller for longer. If you have to snack get yourself some fruit and nuts instead! Make sure you drink plenty of water or green tea as well.

What exercises work for love handles? – There are a number of different exercises to get rid of love handles!

Walking – As mentioned earlier, brisk walking is a great way to reduce body fat.

Ab Crunches/Sit ups – Doing sit ups will start to work the oblique area straight away and will give noticeable effects within the first week if you are consistent with your routine.

Weight training – Add some weights to your sit ups or simply pump your guns. The more muscle you have the faster your metabolism works. This means the more muscle you have the more calories you burn all day, not just when you are exercising.

Twist Crunches – This exercise works your obliques nicely and helps work on those handles of love. These are like regular crunches but as you bring your elbow in extend your opposite leg out and then alternate.

To be honest I think that these exercises to get rid of love handles work very well but only in conjunction with a proper diet and your dedication. Starting is the hardest part! Before you know it you will feel better than you have ever felt before!

This will be a tough article to write for me. During a psychotic episode things are flying all over the place in your mind and there are many blackouts. Never the less, I will do my best to recount my experience with my psychotic episode. Strap yourself in, as this could be a long one.

I guess we’ll start at the beginning. For months I was smoking a LOT of pot (marijuana). I’m talking about an ounce (28 grams) a week. To say the least this is a decent amount of grass to be consuming. Ironically I was trying to quit the stuff when all hell broke loose.

Having spent a very fun 8 hour evening at a friend’s house live streaming video games I went home and was “buzzed as bro” so I decided to re-watch the live stream to see how I had performed. Things get a bit hazy here already as I hadn’t slept for about 24 hours. In fact things get very hazy here as I’m not sure when I did sleep next.

One of the following days (I’m not sure of the time line sorry) I had a friend over to record us playing video games for a new YouTube channel. Energy drinks were consumed and before we started I sat my friend down and said I wanted to record a conversation. I still have the recording but haven’t listened back. But I’m sure it wasn’t too evident I was unwell other than I was very open about sexuality, my fears for my brother’s wedding, my fears of an STD from an ex and all around epiphanies that I was having about myself (I was starting to strongly believe I was an artist, also read about my suicidal thoughts here). Apart from this I was pretty normal but things were in a bit of a haze, I was super hyped up and I had a burning sensation on the front part of my head.

I think it was the next day we (my brother and his then fiancé) had plans to go out in the evening. I don’t really remember what I did during the day but I recall time going very fast, not much food was consumed and my head was burning. We went out to a friend’s place, my bottle of whisky in hand and pot in my pocket. This is when things went really crazy for me. I remember walking into the room of friends and being very paranoid, I thought my YouTube partner had prepped the room about the “new” Tim. I remember discussing with a friend my close call with suicide, I had a few drinks, and things seemed ok. Then I had a joint. This blew everything up and I would say I entered full blown psychosis at this point. After the smoke I was met with 2 friends, I wasn’t able to communicate on any level here so I ran off inside and thought I was suffering a panic attack.

Yours truly was in the kitchen and 3 good friends were around me. I recall exclaiming “Doesn’t anyone else understand the bible?” and having 3 blank expressions looking at me. I then thought I was incredibly smart and asked a friend to stop me if I went too far out there.  Then I was convinced I had castrated my friends, yet they still accepted me.  I remember being concerned whether or not my brother would be able to have kids because I was a serial castrator. Then I believed I had been molested in early childhood and I tried to talk to a friend about it, which was very soothing.

Back in the lounge room I believed I could control the room. I thought about instigating an orgy but thankfully I didn’t attempt that. I remember drinking lots of water on account of my burning head, I was sure I had neurosyphilis. I had a conversation with a friend’s girlfriend but the content of this conversation is a blank to me.

I was framing my brother’s dog in the kitchen, much like a photographer would with his/her hands. I had no camera. I believed I was Jesus and my father was God, I was very sad that I’d die soon without doing more good in the world.

Somehow I was outside again and a joint was being passed around. I remember the people there wanting my opinion on the quality. Here I started blurting out nonsense without realizing, “did I say that or think it?” ran through my mind, but it was obvious I had said my thoughts out loud as they had asked how much weed I had consumed. I ran back inside after this and then there is a big gap in my memory and I only remember leaving (remembering my whisky at least).

The next day I had a 4 hour phone conversation with my Mum, I remember very little of this. My brother and his fiancé had gone to the doctors to treat my brother’s sore throat. Here I remember hallucinating, the contents of which I won’t go into but I did call my bro’s fiancé in a panic and said I needed to go to the doctors too. She came and collected me thankfully and off we went. After urinating in the street we went into the doctors. I thought it was all a set up and I was being committed to an asylum. I couldn’t fill in the forms for the doctor but thankfully my brother could for me. Just as we sat back down our names were called (at this point in my mind the universe was working just around me). I remember being checked over by the doctor for STD’s and he ordered tests for me. I blurted out at the end of the consultation that I needed valium. Luckily he provided me with 5. By this time though they didn’t help, I was all over the place.

When we got home I must have jumped in my computer because I remember writing to a girl who I had been dating and accused her of being multiple people and a psychologist my friends had secretly purchased for me. You can do a lot of damage on social media when you are having a psychotic break, let me tell you.

That night was a nightmare. It’s hard to describe the utter terror and confusion that followed but I’ll do my best. I couldn’t sleep, every time I was nearly asleep I woke up in sheer terror. I believed I was my ex-girlfriend (who had a horrible up bringing) at one point. I believed I was a serial arsonist at one point. I believed I was a serial killer at one point. I thought my family was dead and they were all in my head, an illusion. Everything mixed together and I was full of confusion along with all of these delusions. Memories from child hood came flooding in yet I couldn’t decipher them, was I the victim or the perpetrator? I didn’t know. I was sure I’d hurt everyone I’ve ever come into contact with.

Luckily for me my brother and his fiancé were in the room next to me. I kept bursting in with a new theory, a new problem, a new delusion. They did their best to calm me down and gave me a valium every 4 hours. Hell, I could have eaten the bottle and had no effect. I tried sleeping on the floor of their room and remember sobbing thinking everyone in my family was dead.

I found some comfort in exercise. I paced the house for the rest of the night. I busted out massive amounts of push ups and chin ups. Moving kept me somewhat sane even if I was texting nonsense to my Dad. I’m not sure what or how it happened (later I found out my family organized it of course) but some carers appeared at my house. I thought they were the police. I remember laying on the couch with sunglasses on, with my family around me, sure I would die if I would sleep. “At least I’ll go out with style”, I proclaimed. The carers came back with more valium and olanzapine (an anti-psychotic) and this is about where my story ends.

It’s been almost 2 years now and I’m still recovering. In this time I’ve suffered chronic anxiety, depression, drug addiction, 30kg more weight (thanks olanzapine) and all kinds of fun stuff.

The doctors have since explained that it was a stress and drug induced psychotic episode. A psychotic episode is a lot like a bad psychedelic trip that you have no control over. I really wouldn’t recommend it. Look after your mental health and see a psychologist regularly if you feel at all like you might be suffering psychotic symptoms.

Carbohydrates are an important part of any diet so it only seems fitting to include 6 of the best carbohydrates for your body!

Banana’s

You know what? Those monkeys are onto something! Not only do Banana’s make for an ideal “on the run” snack but they are also really good for you! Because banana’s are full of B vitamins (B2, B6 and also vitamin C) and sustained release sugars they are a great source of energy before a work out. Banana’s also contain a lot of Potassium which helps prevent cramps which make them great for after workouts too! Banana’s also contain the minerals Magnesium, Manganese and also fiber which is essential for good digestive health.

Why not chop up a banana to have with your oats tomorrow?

Blackerries

Blackberries are delicious when they are in season! Did you know they are one of the top foods to promote antioxidant activity? It’s true! Antioxidants help protect you against heart disease and cancer. Not only this but blackberries contain the vitamins C (great for the immune system), E (one of the few fruits that does contain this vitamin) and Folate. These little snacks also contain Manganese, Flavonoids and Ellagic Acid!

Blueberries

Blueberries look good, smell good and taste good! And they are also terrific for you! In fact, the humble blueberry is thought to be one of the most nutritious foods around! They contain the vitamins C and E which are well known for their antioxidant qualities. They also contain Manganese, Fiber, Ellagic Acid and even certain Flavonoids that are found in red grapes that are known to have a positive impact on arteries and heart health! Pretty impressive for a little berry, hey!

Why not add a handful of blueberries to your lunchbox tomorrow?

Cantaloupe

Did you know that the Cantaloupe get’s it’s vivid orange colour from a high concentration of beta Carotene? This contains a lot of antioxidant vitamin A which helps protect us from colds and diseases. Along with vitamin A Cantaloupe contains the vitamins B6, C (also helps the immune system and is also needed to help bone, tendons and ligaments in the body) and folate. Cantaloupe also contains the minerals Potassium, fiber and Carotenoids.

Cherries

Not only do cherries make for amusing earrings but they are actually really good for you too! Sufferers from gout or arthritis may already know that cherries can provide some relief because they contain anti inflammatory properties. Cherries contain Vitamin C as well as Flavonoids which help protect against diseases, cancers and even the common cold. Cherries also contain Ellagic Acid!

Cranberry

Cranberry juice is well known for it’s detoxing and cleansing powers and the actual cranberry itself is just as good! Rich in vitamin C they can help fight off virus’ and help boost your immune system. Cranberries also contain fiber, flavonoids (these can help prevent and ease urinary tract infections) and also Ellagic acid. Not too bad for a little berry hey?

And there you have it, 6 of the best carbohydrates for your body. Time to start changing that diet to something a little bit more healthy!

First dates are always a little scary. Will he/she like me? Will we be able to talk about stuff? Am I too boring? Classic dates like dinner and

Suicidal thoughts are still a bit of a taboo topic. At least they generally don’t come up during dinner parties unless you are having a deep and meaningful conversation with someone who has been in a similar boat. I thought I might break this taboo topic though and share with you some of my experiences with suicidal thoughts.

I’m not sure if this one counts but during a job at a hectic web development office I used to wish the trains would collide just so I wouldn’t have to go to work. I hated my job in the end, the stress and pressure really got to me. I gained weight, I was depressed, I was supporting my girlfriend at the time and it’s fair to say my life wasn’t really going the way I had planned. I would call my suicidal thoughts here mild compared to my next experience though. Read on, it gets more spooky.

A few weeks before I had a psychotic episode I was extremely depressed. I was living alone, didn’t have much money, I was working long hours on projects that just weren’t paying off. Again I wasn’t in a good place. So in crept thoughts of self harm. If I had have had a gun I might not be here today. But my plan was simpler and didn’t require a revolver. I had the idea to go to K-mart and buy a hose, LOCK myself in my car (note the locked bit), hook the hose up to the exhaust pipe, put it through the window, fill the gaps with blankets and then gas myself. Not a pretty thought and thankfully I’m miles from that head space now.

However something interesting happened whilst I was having these thoughts. Something a rational man such as myself has trouble explaining.

One night whilst I was in the midst of my self loathing I took the rubbish out to the bin. Whilst outside I noticed the light inside my car was on. This only happens when one of the doors is open. So I investigated and found that one of my back doors was malfunctioning and the car WOULDN’T LOCK.

This was probably one of my lowest moments in my life. I couldn’t even lock myself in my car and kill myself. (Depression can be ironic)

I rang my Dad in a bit of a state telling him my door was broken and I didn’t know what to do. Good old dad talked me down a bit though and said we would fix it. But time went passed and I got around without a car that locked, even though I was living in an area notorious for it’s crime rate.

Anyway, over this time my suicidal thoughts thankfully subsided. I had no more desire to take my own life. Next thing the door fixed itself. No mechanic visits. No help from my Dad. No tampering with the door at all. It just worked once more as it should. To this day I have had no problems locking or opening my doors on my car.

Can anyone explain this to me? Was it the universes way of saying you should stick around for a while? Was it a ghost (I was living in my old Grand mothers house)? Was it all just pure coincidence?  The few people I have told this story too have sat in awe and each has had a different reaction. But no one has been able to give me a rational answer. Maybe you can?

I broke down and cried when I thought about it all later (major psychosis). I consider myself so lucky to this day. This is my story with suicidal thoughts anyway.

Suicidal thoughts can creep up on anyone. If you are suffering PLEASE talk to your GP and get a psychologist referral. There’s no shame in it, a lot of people have felt the same way and there is help out there.

Some foods are just delicious, let’s face it. But what can be worse than the deliciousness of food is the habit that comes with it! People eat for

The following is an email I wrote some years ago to a group of friends as we planned taking magic mushrooms for the first time. I felt the need to share this as I think it is a good guide to help people have a safe and productive trip. Psychedelics are nothing to mess around with if you aren’t prepared so hopefully this piece will help those of you thinking about taking the ride. Please note that names have been removed to protect privacy.

Ok guys just a bit of info about it all. First of all check out http://www.erowid.org/plants/mushrooms/mushrooms.shtml Which is a wealth of information about mushrooms including trip reports, general information etc.

The trip will last about 5 hours give or take, and I’m planning a dose of around 1.5grams for each of us which should give us all a nice light happy time, giving us a nice feel for what they are without throwing us completely into the rabbit hole. If anyone is feeling really adventurous or a little bit worried about it the dose can be changed accordingly.
They are in powdered form, so think of a way to consume them! You can eat the powder as is but it’s probably not the tastiest thing you will eat and could start you off in a bad way (nausea is not uncommon with shrooms). I will probably be putting mine in some yoghurt or with honey or something to get rid of some of the taste, but there are some tea recipes (probably on erowid (the link above) as well) and a few other routes of administration!

Tripping can be a strange thing. I haven’t taken mushrooms before (only other psychedelics), and this is a fairly light dose so it probably won’t be anything like this, but expect to have ideas and thought patterns that you aren’t used to. Racing thoughts and weird epiphanies are very possible, you will be surprised how much sense some strange things will make (“Wow man, curtains are so obvious, how come people don’t pay more attention to them…they are the answer to everything”) .You may think you have lost your mind, or gone insane, or lost touch with what reality is, but rest assured you are under the effects of a drug and you will be fine again…this is often how “bad trips” start, a fear of being stuck like that or something. Go with the flow, don’t fight back because the drugs will win and you will only get anxious, go with it and see what they will show you, embrace the crazyness and enjoy new complex ideas. Remember you are amongst friends and nothing can harm you!

I usually write a hand written note saying “I have taken ____ I am still sane and everything is ok, I’ll be fine again by 10pm” or whatever, this can be soothing if you are having a hard time.

Preperation:
Over the next few days I’d recommend de-stressing, maybe even some meditation. Try not to go into the experience feeling depressed or stressed.
If you are really keen I’d suggest taking some vitamins and eating a bit healthy too. Exercise helps clear the mind as well!
The biggest factors with psychedelics is “set and setting” which refers to your mind set (be happy and open) and physical setting. The plan is for ***** and my ***** old house, which is a little run down but very homely and comfortable, we won’t be disturbed there and there is a nice back yard to go and chill in if you need a change of scenery (Nature is meant to be amazing on shrooms).

What to bring?
For a start bring some comfy bedding like a blow up mattress and some blankets, pillows and sleeping bag.
Some healthy food or other things you like to eat, I’d suggest some fruit, maybe some nuts, natural food. Maccas is close but at least during the trip I don’t imagine you will want to be eating a big greasy big mac.

Ipod/Music player. We will have tunes set up and ****** is gonna bring his HDD with his music on it, but you may feel like being on your own or taking a walk or something so bring your own music player too just in case!
Drawing accessories are great too, pens, paper and pencils so you can write and draw. Drawing is the best 😀
Bring some cool pictures or posters if you have any laying around, a lot of great art and ideas are drug induced so you will be able to see greater depth and get a new understanding about art works.

Bring some drinks as well, if for nothing more than coming down. A little drink before hand can ease the nerves a little too if you are nervous, but I wouldn’t go overboard before you start tripping.

Some joints and cigarettes if you smoke. Smoking will probably feel really amazing  when you are tripping so you may go through a pack. Pre-roll some joints too if you want to have a smoke during (this will intensify the trip), and for after as well.

I can’t think of anything else really at the moment other than to say it should be a really fun, giggly night! I look forward to hearing all your intimate feelings and emotions 😀

Peace and love,
That guy in the bushes.